Gammel Estrup – The Danish Manor Museum, Denmark

Aims and Objectives


ABOUT: Gammel Estrup - The Danish Manor Museum was founded in 1930. The museum’s activities include the preservation and development of Gammel Estrup Manor as well as research and presentation of the history of Danish manors in general. The museum undertakes research on all aspects of manors, including architecture and landscape, culture and history, agriculture and economy – at national and international level. CASE: THE FORESTER’S COTTAGE – an alternative learning environment Original historical objects and cultural activities meet learning goals, pedagogy and informal learning in the forester’s cottage at Gammel Estrup when they have specially arranged programmes for children with educational needs. The old forester’s house in the manor forest appears as a typical farm worker’s house from the 1930’s placed in authentic historical surroundings. The surroundings are perfect for stimulating a sensuous authentic experience – the students taste, feel and use their forces as the hard workers who were employed at the old manors. The students are also actively involved in the discussions about the noble elite’s exclusive rights as well as the terms and conditions of the manor’s forest workers from around year 1900. The teaching programmes for children with special needs are basically the same as for all children. They do however, require a special attention to structural precautions and special pedagogical considerations. Therefore, the programme emphasises a social and interactive way of approaching history and focus on dialogue in a broader sense and physical activities. The programme gives the children an experience where they learn to understand and reflect on what they see and hear. They get involved in physical interactions and use historical artefacts such as the woodcutter axe and the kettle. The benefit of working in the forester’s house and the surroundings as an alternative learning environment is that the children can sense, feel and experience the forest worker’s cultural history “live” without any needing to have any special competences or prerequisites. Through practical activities in a protected environment the children experience they can contribute with something important in a learning situation, and it has a very motivating effect on them. Archery, kindling of the stove and whittling wood might not be the classical measurable subjects in school, but when the children attain new perspectives of their own skills it strengthens their self-confidence and their motivation to learn. At the same time the activities supports the children’s memory, concentration and motor skills. Helle Ingerslev Kristensen Museum educator WEB: Best practice publication concerning museum education for children with special needs:

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